Together, Caroline and her husband Jacob brought a beautiful baby boy into the world and planned to move forward with their life together as a complete family. But Jacob was battling something big — something that he couldn’t fix, even with his wife by his side supporting him. Jacob lost his battle with drug addiction in 2016. Caroline lost her husband, and their son lost his father.
Since then, Caroline has used their hard times to inspire and help others who struggle with addiction. She had seen first-hand how tragic substance abuse was for everyone affected by the disease, and she wanted to make a difference. She received her MBA in clinical mental health counseling with a specialization in substance use disorders, but she didn’t want to stop there. That’s when Caroline decided to support a local charity by running in the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon and draw much-needed attention to the organization that impacted her life in such a profound way.
“I’m running this year because I want to help families that are in the situation I was once in,” Caroline said. “I know how devastating addiction can be, so running means so much more to me than crossing the finish line. This will be my fourth year running to fundraise for Light of Life to help support the faith-based programs they offer families in Pittsburgh.”
Light of Life is a non-profit based in the Pittsburgh area that helps individuals who struggle with addiction, just like Jacob, by providing food, shelter, and recovery programs. They are an official charity of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon’s Run for a Reason program presented by Bank of America.
"Partnering with the Pittsburgh Marathon has been a wonderful experience for Light of Life. Our runners have raised over $500,000 for Light of Life since our partnership began,” said Director of Development, Doug Smith. “We've also been able to significantly increase our visibility with the running community in Pittsburgh. We are a proud partner."
Caroline’s efforts have contributed $2,095 since she started running to support them in 2017. Those funds have supported Light of Life’s life-changing recovery programs where men, women, and children in need can receive healing, hope, and resources.